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Showing posts with the label looking back

Onward and Upward!

The Husband is down with a virus so it was not a good rest for us last night. Cough, cough. Toss, turn. You know the drill. He'll be fine, we think positively. Leftover garlicky ginger chicken soup was turned into a pot of garlicky ginger tomato soup this morning, which shall be good for a couple of days before he tires of that kind of soup. He's already on his way to losing weight for the 20-pound loss goal we each set on Christmas day (our present to ourselves) by the end of May.

So. Here we are, the end of the year.

An outrageous year for our nation, leaderless. Executive actions and congressional duplicity turning us down the path of darkness rather than so-called greatness. I want to think that we've reached the bottom and it's only up now. A lot of us have no problem standing up against harassment, intimidation, lies, misconceptions, ignorance, and down-right bullying.

The personal score: A hysterectomy took away the cancer no one was really sure was there. The …

Suman

Suman is my all-time favorite Filipino dessert that the Mama made during the Christmas season when I was a kid. It is a decadent sweet rice concoction made from sticky rice (aka glutinous rice and sweet rice), brown sugar, and coconut milk.

The delightfulness about suman is the memory of it being made, usually on a cold, rainy day. I'm anywhere from age four to seven. The Daddy cracks open two or three coconuts, pouring the juice into a waiting glass. I have yet to taste coconut water as good as what I drank way back when.

The Daddy scrapes the coconut meat from the shell carefully and precisely on a a flat, round serrated scraper that he attached to a thick chunk of wood that he straddled. "I want to do it," I say every so often, as I watch the coconut transform into tiny slips of whiteness as it falls from the scraper into a large white metal basin with red trim. Eventually the parents let me sit on the homemade coconut scraper and try for a short bit. It is not easy,…

The Beatles!

The Beatles!

Need I say more? I didn't think so.

"We are just a band that made it very big. That's all," said John Lennon on Disc 1 of The Beatles Anthology.

I'm glad The Beatles happened during my lifetime, in particular, my youth.

John and Ringo were born in 1940, Paul in 1942, and George in 1943. They had a child's memory of WWII. In spite of (or because of) all the harsh stuff they may have experienced as children, they gave us beautiful lyrics and music. Thank you, The Beatles!

By the way, have you heard their version of Besame Mucho from their younger years. Just put a pair of velvet pants on Paul. Gosh.







The Start of an Indoor Jungle

A long time ago when I was a young single thing living in the City, one of the things I enjoyed was creating a jungle in my apartment. On Sunday mornings, my church was the house plant section of Cost Plus down by Fisherman's Wharf. Wandering around philodendrons, umbrella trees, and ficus plants, oh my. Pothos, rubber plants, and ivies, such oxygen heaven. I didn't always go home with plants, but when I did it was with the small ones that cost less than two bucks each. With houseplants you can get a lot with a very slim pocketbook.

Now and then the Mama gave me a houseplant to take home after a weekend visit. I don't know how many times she sent me home with a ti plant. "They're good luck," she said. The ti plants never made it, which I realize now is because I lived in very cold apartments. I wore a heavy sweater or snuggled under blankets and pillows rather than turn on inefficient wall heaters.

Once, sometimes twice, a year, I would repot and propagate t…

Important Numbers

I wonder if a day will come when I no longer remember these numbers.

44 — The number of the first address I recall.

242 — Our family's P.O. box when we lived at #44.

711 — The number of the first house that the family owned. Not rented.

637-4735— The first phone number that I memorized. It went to a black phone. At first it was ME(rcury)7 4735.  That phone number went with us from #44 to #711.

What first important numbers do you remember?




My First Playgrounds

Swings and jungle gyms. Slides and teeter-totters. I came across a playground for the first time when I was five years old on my first day of first grade. I really took to the slides, especially the corkscrew one. When I got home that day, I looked forward to the next day of the slides just as much as the books and the pencils, and the desks and the blackboards. That experience lasted all of two-and-a-half days. I had to wait a full year to hang out in a playground again because the teacher said I was "too young" for school.

It was okay. I went back to my old playground of open fields.





See the Strange Thing!

Come See the Strange Thing!

Posters called out to the Husband and me once upon a time at the county fair.

Only a Dollar!

How could we resist?

We walked up to the counter, plunked down our two bucks, and entered the tent.

Pictures and articles were plastered on the wall. I didn't want to read. I wanted instant gratification. Where is the Strange Thing!?

Then. . . . Eeeeeeeeeeeew!

On display was a shriveled up something that looked like a dried up armadillo. Yuck. The Strange Thing! was said to be a blood-sucking creature called a chupacabra.

Was it real? Qué sera, sera? The Internet mostly says the chupacabra is an urban legend, but that doesn't keep the curious from conducting field research.

Years later the Husband and I crack up whenever one of us brings up The Strange Thing! Have we learned our lesson? Will we plunk down hard-earned cash to see the next Strange Thing! at a county fair? Qué sera, sera?

By the way, we have our own little strange thing sitting on the kitch…

Always, the Daddy

I imagine it going this way:

"Susie. Susie, hold still."

"You can go play in the water after I take the picture."

"Susie! Stop moving."

The photographer, who was probably the Mama, sighed. She most likely turned to the Daddy who knew what to do.

He crouched behind me, holding me in place.

"Susie smile at the camera."

Click.

No doubt the Mama sighed when she saw the photo. Oh, well.

Throughout my life, the Daddy always had my back.


Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

I'm hooking up with Seasons, a meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG. Click here to check out other participants. Toodle-ooo.


Moodiness.

I'm sulking.

As in my teenage-self sulk, which was playing my guitar all Sunday afternoon, singing Flowers on the Wall, Elusive Butterfly, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and other angst songs, in the living room.

I did do that. One time, during a pause, the Mama called out from the kitchen, "Are you done now?"

hahahahaha.

The poor Mama. She was a saint to endure two or more hours of my off-key singing and probably out-of-tune guitar.

Okay. Focus. Back to the subject I began.

I'm sulking.

I don't want to do this not-a-hysterical operation even though I know it's a preventative measure that may let me live the full life that I'm meant to have.

Don't worry. It will happen. In three weeks, I'll no longer have a reproductive system. I'm way beyond baby-producing time so my fist-size of a womb with attaching tubes and ovaries will be no more.

I've never given birth. I wanted five kids. Maybe I have them in parallel universes. One can dream. 

I w…

The Ilocano Tribe

It's the letter I at ABC Wednesday. My contribution is an edited post that I originally published on April 10, 2013. To check out ABCW posts from bloggers around the world, please click here. Thanks ABCW Team! In 1985, I spent several days camping in Havasu Canyon with the First Husband-to-be. Havasu Canyon, known for its gorgeous waterfalls that run down to the Colorado River, lies just outside of the western border of the Grand Canyon National Park. We stayed at the Havasu campground on the Havasupai Indian Reservation run by the Havasupai Tribe. (I have no idea if that's how it is today.)

Havasupai means people of the green blue water. And, yes, the pools of water were a spectacular green blue color when we were there.

To get to the campground back then, you either flew in on a helicopter or hiked the winding 10-mile trail down to the canyon floor.

I was (and still am) a slow walker, so the First Husband-to-be got to the campground office before me. The reservation was und…

Jumping the Ditch

It's the letter D at ABC Wednesday. My share is a post that I originally published on April 11, 2014. To check out ABCW posts from bloggers around the world, please click here. Thanks ABCW Team!


Because I was born 10 days after the cut-off date for first graders, I was sent home on the third day of school. Fine. The Mama had her hands full caring for Baby Sister and figuring out the new house that we had moved into about a week before school started. That meant I got to go with the Daddy for part of the day. Great!

The Daddy irrigated the rows upon rows of crops on the valley floor. During his morning break, the Daddy came home to fetch me. I'd get in the car with my Golden Books, coloring books, and crayons and down the hill we would go. While the Daddy worked, I entertained myself with my books and when that became tiring, I'd wander and explore, but never too far from the car and always where the Daddy could see me. We'd go home for lunch and sometimes I'…

Not Quite With It Sometimes

Once upon a time when I was young, I needed to have a car insurance adjuster give me an estimate on the damage done to the car I was driving at the time. I no longer recall what the damage was and how the car got damaged, which makes me think that some one thumped or scraped the car in a parking lot and drove away. Or, something similar that made a big enough of a dent for the Daddy to tell me to take it into an insurance office so that I can get it fixed. Immediately.

Got it. 

At the time I was a big girl working and living in San Francisco. Whoo-hooo!

Very responsible I was, this big girl that I was. I even knew where to take the car, without looking it up in the phone book. Remember that book?

Early one Saturday morning, a friend and I drove over to the State Farm Insurance Office near a mall south of the City. Easy peasy. I went into the office and told a guy what I needed. He picked up a clipboard, and, leading me back outside, asked, "Do you have your insurance card?&quo…

The London Bridge

London Bridge is falling down,
falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down.
My Fair Lady. In first grade, we sang this Mother Goose rhyme as we marched under an arch formed by the joined hands of two kids. The hands came down on "My Fair Lady" and the two kids would then rock the captured kid between their locked hands, as we sang a verse about taking the key and locking the kid up. When that verse was over, either the captured kid chose a side and stood behind that kid or took that kid's place, after which, we marched and sang the rhyme again.

I don't remember what the point of the game was. For that matter, what the rhyme was all about. After three or four rounds, I would look longingly at the playground, even willing to climb up the jungle gym. And, that I disliked to do.

I didn't become curious about the London Bridge until 1975 when I learned that a rich American had bought the bridge and reconstructed it brick by brick on Lake Havasu in Arizona…

I Kid You Not. Just

Just kidding around.

Just feeling like a kid again.

Just who do you think you're kidding?

Just a punk kid.

What's just that, kid?

Just a new kid on the block.

Just saying, "Hi, Kid!"

The kid just said, "Bleeeet."

Just handle with kid gloves. Handle just with kid gloves. Handle with just kid gloves. Handle with kid gloves—just.

What are ya? Just some kind of whiz kid?

Just kidding aside.

Yup. I drew a picture of just how I recall my small barefoot kid self.


J is this week's letter for ABC Wednesday. Click here to read other J-themed posts by blogger from around the world.  Thank you, ABCW team!!

P. S. Uhm, I thought this week was the letter K. Like how I just barely put the post back on the right track? 

Happy Birthday to the Mama!

The ever loving, curious, generous, and unique Mama would've been 95 years old today. Shoot up the  fireworks! Bang on the walls! Pick some tomatoes! Dance up a storm! Sing, sing, sing!


I searched through my archives for a story to share about the Mama. This one is my favorite, which was published on June 18, 2010. Originally, it was entitled Talking about Sex with the Mama. The new title says it better.

Some Kind of Wonderful

Yesterday the mama asked me to explain something she was reading in an AARP flyer. It was a short article about what a woman can do about vaginal dryness so that intercourse isn't so painful.
Uh.

The mama is a voracious reader. She likes to learn. Both things I didn't know until the husband and I became her roommates several years ago. English is not her primary language, and I would say on a scale of 1 to 10, her English reading comprehension is about a 4, more or less. She doesn't let complicated or unfamiliar words get her down. If she&#…

A Sloth Who Likes to Read

"Stop reading," ordered the Mama. "Go outside."

I'd probably been lying on the bed reading for three or four hours that sunny summer weekend afternoon. I was probably 12 years old.

That's what the Mama got for buying me a bed with a bookcase headboard. It was packed full with paperback books that I purchased from the monthly Scholastic book catalog during the school year. Three or four dollars bought me a lot of books back then. I shall always be grateful the Mama and the Daddy let me buy so many, and for leaving me alone to read the books over and over most of the time.

Reading was my favorite thing to do in summer, followed by riding bicycles, watching movies, and eating. Except for the bicycle riding, I seem to have slipped back into my once-upon-a-time summer routine. I'm not getting much done, I admit. And, yes, my clothes are feeling snug. Again.

I really do need to urge me to step outside and do something. There's still time today to water t…

Flight

On the afternoon that the Mama died, the Husband, Long-time Friend Kathy, Molly the Cat, and I sat on the patio and ate our lunch. The Mama's apple tree and her butterfly bush gave us shade from the warm Spring sun. The sky was blue. The Mama's roses, daisies, and other flowers were in bloom. The birds serenaded us. The Mama's bedroom window faced the backyard. I like to think that she could see, smell, and hear the day as we did and that she enjoyed listening to our relaxed cadences and tones.

At one point I leaned back in my chair and gazed at the sky. A crow was lazily flying back and forth. It was like a photo, the crow framed by the foliage of the Mama's trees and bushes. As I watched the bird, I felt like I could see the Mama's spirit flying up towards the crow and dancing alongside it.

When I finally looked away, I saw a white butterfly fly out of the Mama's garden by the  rose bushes. That was the first white butterfly I saw that day, which, ever since…

Crybaby Me.

The Mama used to tell me a story about the time that the Daddy carried me on his back while they picked tomatoes one summer day. I was maybe two years old. "You cried and cried," the Mama said. "You kept saying, 'Go home, Daddy. Go home.'"

The poor Daddy! And, all those other poor workers around us who were forced to listen to a tiny, fat crybaby of a girl piggy-backing on her poor Daddy's back. The poor Daddy!

How did the Parents ever get me to stop crying? Did the Daddy take the Mama and me home and go back to work? Did I eventually calm down, get off the Daddy's back, and find a way to entertain myself so the Parents could work in peace? I don't know. The Mama never told me what happened. She simply laughed after telling me.

Why am I telling you the story? I don't know. I find myself tearful all of a sudden lately.

C is for crybaby me. Not pitiful me though.

C is the letter for this week's ABC Wednesday, a weekly meme that is keeping …

Youth

Old age realizes the dreams of youth: look at Dean Swift; in his youth he built an asylum for the insane, in his old age he was himself an inmate. ~ Soren Kierkegaard
When I was a youth, I dreamt of hiking mountains, pedaling bicycles, paddling boats, crafting words for a living, seeing wondrous sights, traveling to distant lands, hanging out with great friends, and sharing life with an honest, respectful, kindly, compassionate, intelligent, and funny gentle man.

I have realized, and continue to realize, my youthful dreams. How about you?

Youth has no age. ~ Pablo Picasso

It's the letter Y at ABC Wednesday. Click here to read other Y posts and/or to join in at the fun weekly meme. 

A Tidbit from the Past

Today I found a note I wrote to the Mama in 1968 or 1969 from the look of the psychedelic colored stationery.

On the envelope, I wrote
To Mama To Brighten your day with a bit of May
On the neon green paper, I wrote
Mama,
You're the greatest, I say you are!
So sorry I have nothing to give you but this.
But, then maybe soon I'll give you some thing other than a jar
And both you and me can be in true bliss.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY. . .
though you still have to do some work!
Love Susie or Me, the Lazy One
I wonder if the jar had anything in it.